So it is pretty standard for me, anyway, to have mini mishaps at every turn. I don’t know if it was necessarily due to how we were raised (family with five children, dairy farm). But I have NEVER been able to pull off that classy, sophisticated persona full of grace…..kind of hard to when I am less than graceful and a little socially challenged!
The last week has been a horrible, gut-wrenching, anxiety filled week. My oldest son (14) goes to the Mayo Clinic tomorrow for some tests. Long story short, a lung spot was seen on an x-ray and he has been losing weight, felt terrible and been in general very miserable. The doctors where we live told him it was ‘probably’ in his head, which sends a mother who actually knows her child, sees him suffering, right over the edge. So here we are, 5 hours from home, $90 in our pocket, a hotel room my amazing brother-in-law is paying for and driving my mother’s car. But let me back up a little…
Packing up four children 7 and under to stay at my mother-in-law’s house was no small feat. The Mayo told us we could be here for 1 day or 3 or more. My husband had no clue how fast the hamsters were running in my head last night–all he knows is he has to work and things are being taken care of (by the same magical fairy that does all the dishes and laundry). Trying to anticipate their needs, trying to make sure everyone had clean underwear…..and of course leaving my own packing for 5 minutes before we left this morning. I never leave my children….and I don’t want you to think I feel deprived by that in any way. That is the way I WANT it. Admittedly, there are times where I need space but it is an hour here or there. The combined anxiety of whether or not they will behave for my mother-in-law and the fact that I won’t be there tonight or tomorrow morning, plus worrying about my poor boy tomorrow….kind of makes my head want to explode!
But there I go, rattling on again! So we live in the country, small towns, you get the idea. I go down to the Twin Cities once or twice a year to visit my 2nd oldest sister or maybe a few times a year we will go to Fargo. So driving on freeways is not exactly my comfort zone, and certainly weaving in and out of traffic is not! I am not an aggressive driver, having the dillusion that other drivers will appreciate my politeness. They don’t….it’s more like they sense you are the weak one in the herd! I can’t complain too much about the traffic. Most of the way down I followed a big semi hauling giant straw bales. He was kind of like a big bull paving the way for me! The part where I really start to lose some class and sophistication is when we stopped to grab lunch at McDonald’s. I hate that place. Or rather, my ass hates that place. Something happened at some point in my life and I just do no digest fast food all that well. I swear I do not eat it all that often and every time I do, I think, ‘maybe it won’t bother me this time…’. Wrong. Very, very wrong. About an hour went by before the cramping started. Little beads of sweat popping out on my forehead as I am clenching the stearing wheel and my knee bouncing up and down faster and faster like it’s going to help. After a while, my son began to realize something was seriously wrong when I could no longer hold the gas in. ‘MOM! What’s wrong with you!?!’ I wish I could tell him. And what could I do? Grit my teeth, feel the blood leave my face as another round of cramping started and try not to shart myself. At this point, the ditch is looking favorable. I was almost frantic when the stupid navigator made us miss the right exit for our hotel. My son is now holding his nose out the window and begging to just stop anywhere. I couldn’t handle it anymore. I stopped at a gas station about 4 blocks away from our hotel and did the stiff-legged trot in there. I had another momentary panic when I thought both stalls where occuppied, thank God, no, but as I am hastily pulling down my pants realize there is some poor innocent sitting mere feet from me. I grit my teeth and sweat some more until she leaves. I won’t go into detail but let’s just say it was horrifying relief and thankfully, not witnessed by anyone. Freakin’ McDonald’s. I hate you and your nasty ass exploding food. That I will probably eat again at some point in time. But not for a while. My son is complaining the car still smells. There is not alot to say. We make it the four blocks to the hotel and check into our room. I start unpacking and realize I packed 2 shirts and NO PANTS. I am wearing some ugly athletic pants, thinking comfort for a long drive. I meticulously packed each of my five children but don’t even bring pants for myself!? Good Lord, please let this poor little country girl go back to the country where she belongs. I will try for grace and sophistication another day, I guess!